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THE FALLOUT FROM ABUSIVE SUPERVISION: AN EXAMINATION OF SUBORDINATES AND THEIR PARTNERS

Authors


  • We thank Bennett Tepper, Gerald Ferris, and two anonymous reviewers for their help revising this manuscript. This research was conducted with support from the Texas A&M Mays Business School Mini-Grant Program.

Dawn S. Carlson, Department of Management, Baylor University, Hankamer School of Business, One Bear Place #98006, Waco, TX 76798-8006; Dawn_Carlson@Baylor.edu.

Abstract

Using spillover and crossover theory, we examined how subordinate's experience of abusive supervision impacts both subordinate's and partner's family domains. Specifically, a model was proposed and tested that examined the fallout from abusive supervision through 2 types of strain, work-to-family conflict and relationship tension, on family satisfaction of the subordinate and on family functioning of the partner. Using a matched set of 280 subordinates and partners, this study found that abusive supervision contributes to the experience of work-to-family conflict and relationship tension. Further, family satisfaction for the subordinate and family functioning for the partner were diminished through the experience of relationship tension. Interestingly, although the experience of work-to-family conflict contributed to relationship tension, it did not directly impact the family outcomes. We discuss the study's implications for theory, research, and practice while suggesting new research directions.

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